By Mahnaz Abdi

‘South Pars development phases to be complete by March 2020’

December 22, 2018

TEHRAN- All development phases of Iran’s South Pars gas field, except for phase 11, will be completed by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2020), Mohammad Meshkinfam, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), announced in a press conference on Saturday.

South Pars, which Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf, is divided into 24 standard phases of development in the first stage. Most of the phases are fully operational at the moment.

POGC is in charge of implementing development phases of the huge offshore field, which is estimated to contain a significant amount of natural gas, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s reserves, and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.

Asked about phase 11, Meshkinfam said: “CNPC has not officially announced that it will leave the project; but anyway we anticipate that the contractor of the project will be designated by the end of current [Iranian calendar] year (March 20, 2019)”.

On December 12, Reuters reported that China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has suspended investment in Iran’s South Pars natural gas project in response to U.S. pressure and to minimize tensions amid trade talks between Beijing and Washington, as said by three Chinese state oil executives.

Last month, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had said that CNPC had officially replaced France’s Total in Iran’s multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project.

Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop Phase 11 of South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, marking the first major Western energy investment in the country after sanctions were lifted in 2016.

The company was pressured to leave Iran after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on companies that do business in the country.

Meshkinfam said that some $90 million have been already invested in phase 11, of which $45 million has been made by Total.

He also put the total investment made for development of South Pars at $80 billion and said that the value of Iranian-made equipment and services is $32.3 billion in development projects.

SP development strengthening domestic products, services

Elsewhere in his remarks, the managing director of POGC highlighted the role of South Pars development projects in elevating capabilities of domestic producers ad service providers and said that 40 Iranian companies have taken the places of some foreign ones since the start of development projects.

“We have implemented 37 joint projects with foreign companies from UK, Spain, Norway, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, South Korea, Romania, Switzerland, Poland, China and Russia in order to expand the capabilities of Iranian companies”, he added.

South Pars daily output at 583mcm

Meshkinfam put the current nominal production capacity of South Pars at 600 million cubic meters (mcm) per day and said some 583 mcm of gas is currently extracted from the field.

He has previously announced that daily production will reach 630 mcm by the yearend.

He also put the daily extraction of oil from South Pars oil layer at 25,000 barrels.

Iran started pumping oil from South Pars oil layer in March 2017.

Meshkinfam further put the field’s cumulative production (the total amount of oil and gas recovered from a reservoir as of a particular time in the life of the field) at 1.348 trillion cubic meters from 267 wells.

Some achievements in past year and current year

Elsewhere in his remarks, the POGC managing director mentioned some of the achievements of the company in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2018) and also some in the current year.

He referred to inaugurating phases 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the gas field, and laying 400 kilometers of pipeline as some main achievements in the past year.

Meshkinfam mentioned putting platform 14A into operation, installing platform of phase 22, operating first and second trains of refinery of phases 22-24, and second train of refinery of phase 13 as some achievements in the current year and referred to operating the last trains of refineries of phases 13 and 22-24 as well as platforms 13B, 13D, 22 and 24A as some projects to be completed by the yearend.

He put the current refining capacity of South Pars refineries at 2 billion cubic feet per day.

He also announced about operating four gas condensate tanks each with the capacity of 500,000 barrels. 

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